Beware of landlords

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Businesses in Sheffield are being warned to beware of future claims from landlords before moving in to new premises.

Jason White from Sheffield- based Charterfields Real Estate says the number of dilapidation disputes has been increasing as hard-pressed commercial landlords attempt to maximise tenants’ contributions towards their costs.

“Many businesses, particularly those without a dedicated facilities manager, are unaware of their rights and responsibilities in regard to their lease and fail to thoroughly inspect the condition of the building before moving in,” says Mr White.

“They are often taken by surprise to receive a hefty dilapidation claim from the landlord after vacating the premises.” Mr White says companies need to understand their responsibilities under the lease, have an independent inspection of the building carried out by a qualified surveyor before moving in and realise that they not automatically obliged to pay a dilapidation claim. The Landlord and Tenant Act places the onus on the landlord to demonstrate he has suffered a loss as a consequence of a tenant’s negligence, says Mr White.